Noted mudlark Hammoon Boy relished a heavy track to power away with the David Dye Memorial Armidale Newmarket (1100m) on Monday.
In a race marred by scratchings which saw just four greet the starter, the veteran Tamworth sprinter packed too much punch.
Hammoon Boy ($4.00) downed favourite Salerno by a half-length for his ninth career victory from 44 starts.
Todd Grills, representing his mother Sue, was pleased to see the seven-year-old return to winning ways.
“He stripped fit today third-up at 1200m on a heavy track,” Grills said.
“He just needs a bit of a sting out of the ground because he’s a bit older now.
“We were pretty confident before the scratchings, but when it fell away there were no excuses.”
Winning jockey Andrew Gibbons reported Hammoon Boy did the job with a touch of authority.
“I knew he was the best horse in the race,” Gibbons said.